Halstead Road Runners hosted the 23rd running of the Halstead and Essex Marathon on Sunday. For several years now the race has also served as the Essex County Marathon Championships.
The race sees many runners returning time and again including an ever present contingent from the 100 Marathon Club. Bob Parmenter, a member of the 100 Marathon Club and a former Halstead Road Runner, was running his 200th marathon. East London Runners had also chosen the race as a focus for members of their club who had been unsuccessful in the London Marathon ballot this year. Their purple club colours were visible both on the course and on their large group of supporters.
The weather has a reputation for being unseasonably hot on race day but this year conditions were absolutely perfect. This saw both the male and female course records tumble with Tristan Steed finishing first overall in a fantastic time of 2.34. Second place went to Harry Smith in 2.42 closely followed by Allen Smalls from Colchester Harriers AC in 2.43. Smalls was also overall Male Gold County Champion and V40 Gold County Champion.
Pete Robinson from Springfield Striders, was the first runner resident in the Braintree District Council area in 4th place overall in a time of 2.43.22 Robinson also came away with a Male Silver County Medal and was part of the winning Men’s Team and the County Championships Men’s Team with club mates James Smith and James Wright.
First lady was Marie Shirley from Colchester Harriers AC in 3.12 who had an incredible 14 minute lead over the second lady, Vicky Bird who finished in 3.26. Third lady was Julie Balaam in 3.31. The Colchester Harriers’ ladies totally dominated on the day also coming away with the winning Ladies’ Team and the County Championships Ladies’ Team made up of Marie Shirley, Rebecca Cooke and Steph Horner. The three ladies all received individual and age County honours as well.
For members of the host club, it was an opportunity to race on home turf with friendly faces at every turn of the course. Richard Candler was the first runner back for Halstead Road Runners in a time of 3.01. Wesley Atkins, running his first road marathon, finished in 3.08 with Andy Owen, in a new personal best of 3.17 the 3rd Halstead man. The trio are also now Men’s Essex County Bronze Team medallists.
Nathan Roulson achieved an impressive pb by 11 minutes finishing in 3.24. Ashley Hood ran well in a pb time of 3.42. Michael Longman running the race for the first time in the Halstead vest finished in 3.46. Steve May finished in 3.57. Rosie Atkins pushed to a pb of 4.02 with Sam Wolton not far behind in 4.05. Dan Smith also got a pb of 4.10.
Halstead’s marathon legend, Andy Wilmot, who has now run over 700 marathons, finished in 4.14 to claim V70 age group honours for both the race and the County Championships. Mike Grealy was disappointed with his time of 4.17 but more than happy to come away with an Essex County Bronze Medal in the V60 age category. Heidi Worf was thrilled to finish her first marathon in 4.28 sprinting across the line in her usual style. Adam Buckle also running his first marathon as a last minute decision finished in 4.48.
Prizes awarded for the Halstead Marathon
1st Tristan Steed
2nd Harry Smith
3rd Allen Smalls, Colchester Harriers AC
Male Age Category Winners:
M40 Ged Mcmillen, Colchester Harriers AC
M45 Andrew Low, Benfleet RC
M50 Robin Mccoy, Billericay Striders
M55 Clive Thomas, Colchester Harriers AC
M60 Martin Auger
M65 Bill Howes, 100 Marathon Club
M70 Andy Wilmot, Halstead Road Runners
Peter Robinson, James Smith and James Wright – Springfield Striders
1st Marie Shirley, Colchester Harriers AC
2nd Vicky Bird
3rd Julie Balaam
Female Age Category Winners:
F35 Kasia Kostyrka-Allchorne, Southend AC
F40 Tracy English, Southend AC
F45 Steph Horner, Colchester Harriers AC
F50 Tracy Harrington, Tiptree Road Runners
F55 Bobbie Sauerzapf, Bungay and Black Dog Running Club
F60 Frances Cooke
Marie Shirley, Rebecca Cooke and Steph Horner – Colchester Harriers AC